We live in dangerous times, not only because of the pandemic but also because of the threat of military aggression from the nation from which the virus sprang and the Communist Party that covered up the lethal nature of the disease.

Reasonable people disagree on when the People’s Republic of China and its leader Xi Jinping will move militarily against Taiwan, the democratic island nation 100 miles from the coast of the Chinese mainland. Some, like retired admiral James Stavridis, believe that the lurch against Taiwan is a few years off. Others, like China hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), believe it may follow China’s Winter Olympics in early 2022, just as Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea followed the Sochi Games of 2014.

But whenever it takes place, aggression against Taiwan will pose the same dilemma to the West as Hitler’s militarization of the Rhineland posed to the Allies in 1936. Western democracies blinked 85 years ago, and war engulfed the world shortly thereafter. Threat followed threat, demand followed demand, and the policy of appeasement of Germany failed. What happened next was a catastrophe.

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